Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Saur October 3, 2016

Social Metadata and Public-Contributed Contents in Memory Institutions: “Crowd Voice” Versus “Authenticated Heritage”?

Chern Li Liew

Abstract

Social technologies have led to increasing participatory activities and institutions are interested in the potential of using these for outreach and engagement. Through offering new spaces and tools that allow users to consume and also to contribute content, institutions are expanding their traditional services which could redefine their role and relevance in the digital cultural heritage landscape. This study investigates the decision-making and practices underpinning current handling of social metadata and public-contributed contents (PCC). The focus is on examining the motivations for soliciting contributions, if and how these are moderated and managed, if they are integrated into the institutional data and knowledge base, and the extent to which public stakeholders moderate. The study also involves an investigation of whether, and how, memory institutions consider diversity and inclusiveness in soliciting participation and contributions, and the values placed on PCC, as compared to institutional resources. The aim of this study is to shed light on these by surveying libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions.

How institutions deal with the social metadata and PCC they gather, and what they do with the contributions, could be a key determining factor of the success of their participatory practice as part of their larger effort to capture and preserve collective memories. This survey shows that the profession still has a way to go towards these goals. There is little evidence that demonstrates integration of a participatory culture and activities into the strategic directions and documentary practices of institutions.

Funding source: Victoria University of Wellington

Award Identifier / Grant number: Faculty Research Grant 209221

Funding statement: I wish to thank Victoria University of Wellington Grant 209221 for funding this study and the research assistance provided by Benjamin Moore. I also thank the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive and helpful comments on improving this paper, in particular, with regard to the presentation of the findings.

Acknowledgement

I wish to thank Victoria University of Wellington Grant 209221 for funding this study and the research assistance provided by Benjamin Moore. I also thank the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive and helpful comments on improving this paper, in particular, with regard to the presentation of the findings.

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Published Online: 2016-10-3
Published in Print: 2016-10-1

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